When children live in a hospitable home, they begin to share the telltale marks. Not only do they learn the tools of hospitality—clearing tables, filling water glasses, greeting people at the door, taking coats, finding toys for younger guests—they become familiar with the spirit of hospitality, as well.
Conversation, for example, becomes a natural art. How many times in the middle of some discourse have I felt a little body snuggle into my chair. Subdued is the mouth, but open are, the ears.
Like my mother, I don’t believe in excluding children on the general principle that they are children. I remember with great fondness those tales woven on the looms of my ancestors’ past. I remember the amazing recognition that my father could talk to anyone about anything. And, I remember the joy I felt when adults laughed together.
If the evening is flowing, and the children’s behavior suitable, they are welcome to listen and to learn to participate.
Naturally, there are times when, because of the intimacy of the subject, or because of the late hour, the children are excused. Often they have other pursuits which are more intriguing. Yet it is not unusual to have a child’s arm dangling over the back of my ladder chair, a small head pressing cheek to cheek, a hand squeezing out the nonverbal plea, “It’s all right if we stay, isn’t it?” What better way for children to learn to converse than by observing this lively art.
Award-winning author Karen Mains continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
Karen has long had an interest in Christian hospitality and is the author of the best-selling book, Open Heart, Open Home.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags. This micro-finance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
For decades, Karen and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. The are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and churches at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Likewise, pastors will find special resources to help them prepare effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.